You've come to a crossroads in your career: One choice is to continue down the same path. Another option is to take a chance and choose a route that could significantly change your life and your business. Think of it as "Separately Managed Accounts" or "Business as Usual."

Before you make your decision, though, why not take an introspective journey to determine if marketing managed accounts is really for you. You'll analyze your business, your clients and your goals, and talk with colleagues about the pros and cons of the business. Soon you'll have a pretty good idea as to whether you are ready for a managed account mindset.

The first thing you should try to determine is what is most important to you in the way you run your business. Do you love prospecting? Do you enjoy working with big clients? Do you enjoy watching the market and making stock picks? Do you really love servicing your clients? Are you personally handling things in your business that you would prefer delegating to someone else? These are important questions, and your answers are critical to helping you make your decision.

Think About The Benefits

Working with managed accounts provides three very important benefits. If you're not interested in these particular bennies, or if you don't see a fit for yourself, then it may not be the business for you. Let's review them in brief:

1. Separately managed accounts allow you to remove yourself from the process of managing money. You can eliminate the problem of not having enough time for yourself and your business and delegate this responsibility to a professional money manager. You also can eliminate the perceived conflict of interest that sometimes is associated with transaction-based business, and literally sit on the same side of the table with your clients.

2. You have a better opportunity to work with very large clients. And this is the part of the managed account story that takes you down a different path. Affluent clients, for example, want personalization and customization. They want to control their tax destiny. If you want to work with wealthy individuals, foundations, endowments and small to midsized institutions, then you have to upgrade your services. This is where separately managed accounts fit in perfectly.

3. You must have the vision and presence of mind to want to build and grow your business, using the embedded return of the market to help boost your income. You can create an annual revenue stream, or annuity, that develops your business exponentially. If the markets and your investment managers have positive performance, you will receive a lift in income with little effort. In essence, if you believe in the future of capital markets, you're creating built-in raises for yourself.

Are You A Player?

As the managed account business has grown, we've seen certain types of individuals gravitate towards it. Who are these individuals and what sets them apart from the rest? Four common denominators underscore the most successful advisors:

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